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Appeal letter to university for missing deadline example

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Appeal letter to university for missing deadline example
September 06, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

It's important to know every deadline since missing just one could mean your to major in, which department or program at MIT appeals to you and why? . A strong letter of rec will include specific examples of your academic.

Sample Letter #1


I am truly sorry and very embarrassed about not finishing the report by the deadline. I know you are eager to have the entire study completed by June 1, so I am working nights to have this to you by May 25. You can count on it being delivered by special mail on or before that date. I will do everything I can to make this project a success. I appreciate the opportunity to work on it, and I thank you for your patience.

Sample Letter #2


My response to your January 5 survey is enclosed. I apologize for missing your January 15 deadline. Our students returned to school on January 7, and I have been very busy with the new semester. Still, I have made every effort to give you accurate information. Even though my response is late, I hope you will be able to use it in your final document.

Sample Letter #3


We are sorry that we were unable to deliver your furniture yesterday. Because we have only two delivery people, we were left shorthanded when one of them became ill.

To ensure that this does not happen again, we have hired temporary workers and rescheduled your delivery appointment for 9:00 a.m. Friday morning. We appreciate your patience. Your business is important to us, and we hope that this incident will not hurt our relationship.

Sample Letter #4


I am sorry I missed last week's deadline for registration for the small business owners' convention. I was not sure until today whether I would be able to attend. I hope you are still able to accept my registration, which I have included with a check. If so, please send me confirmation of my enrollment; if not, please return the check to me. Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Sample Letter #5


I apologize for not getting the brochure materials to you on time. Unfortunately, we needed some changes in the art work, and they will take several more days to complete. I should have all the materials ready by Tuesday of next week, and will deliver them to you personally at that time. I would appreciate your printing the brochures as soon as possible after that.

I realize that this tardiness affects your printing schedule, and apologize for any inconvenience this delay may have caused you.

Related Articles

Related Resources

Guide to Write This Letter ❯

Undergraduate Extenuating Circumstances Submission Deadline – Thursday which cause you to miss an assessment event or not to submit an assessment;.

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appeal letter to university for missing deadline example

1. What is an appeal?

An academic appeal is something you send to a university or college when you want to dispute a decision they made against you.

The decisions you disagree with could be anything. Here are some examples that we often see:

  • being made to withdraw from a course due to plagiarism (cheating)
  • given a lower or totally different qualification to what was expected
  • not being allowed to retake an exam that you failed

Sometimes it can be a combination of things that you're unhappy about and you can dispute all of them in an appeal if you wish. But first let's see what it takes to write a good appeal letter.

The first step

Start looking into your institution's appeals and complaints procedures as early in the year as possible. Most people only research it on results day which doesn't give them much time to prepare.

Your institution should let you know how to go about making an appeal. The best place to look for this information is by asking the Registry, Students' Union, or searching on the university's website.

There's only a few days after you get your results in which appeals are accepted. This isn't a lot of time, especially when you consider the colossal amount of preparation involved.

Be sure you know what the deadlines are and how long it takes the university to consider an appeal. Ask for an extension if you can't meet a deadline.

2. Having a reason to appeal

Having good, sound reasons for appealing are known as having grounds for appeal. Without this, your appeal will be rejected straight away.

The most common and accepted grounds for appealing are:

  1. You suffered extenuating circumstances during your course or assessment which
    • couldn't be prevented
    • you didn't previously tell the university about
    • affected your ability to perform as you normally would
  2. There is evidence of a 'material irregularity' (basically an administrative error) during the course or in an assessment. This error should be big enough to create a doubt about whether the institution's decision would have been different if the error hadn't happened in the first place
  3. There was bias, prejudice, or lack of proper assessment by the examiners who marked your work

Let's see what each of these mean and how you could make a claim under each of them.

Extenuating and mitigating circumstances

An extenuating circumstance (sometimes called a mitigating circumstance) is where you've had something happen in your life that has affected your academic performance. Extenuating circumstances (ECs) can be any combination of health, financial, legal or personal issues that contributed towards a poor performance. Having said this, it's usually a health issue that people claim for.

Let your university or college know about your extenuating circumstances before taking an exam or handing in coursework. In fact, we recommend that you always do this even if you think you don't need to claim – you never know when you might need to rely on it!

Don't assume that mentioning your extenuating circumstances to a personal tutor or lecturer is enough, because it's not. You should make sure your extenuating circumstances are officially recorded by the university because having to retrospectively claim for them is very tough – unless you have valid reaons.

Unfortunately, many students don't submit ECs on time or don't do it properly. If this is your situation, then you have to give a valid reason for it, and as you can guess, many excuses are rejected outright.

Here are some weak excuses given by students for not submitting ECs on time:

  • They didn't know about the institution's procedures and deadlines for submitting ECs
  • They were too embarrassed to do so
  • They feared being discriminated or stigmatised against
  • They forgot to do it
  • They felt it wasn't necessary to claim ECs at the time of assessment because the coursework or exam seemed to go well

The cause for not letting the university know about your extenuating circumstances prior to your appeal needs to be something significant and something that can't be questioned.

Some valid reasons for not submitting ECs on time include:

  • Long periods of hospital stay or frequent hospital visits
  • Inability to communicate with the University
  • Difficulty getting a doctor's note
  • Being a victim of serious crime
  • Bereavement
  • Depression and mental health issues

Just to clarify, there are two things going on here:

  1. You're informing the university about what your ECs are (or were)
  2. You're giving them a valid reason for not submitting them on time

If weren't mentally or physically fit to complete your coursework or sit an exam then you must mention it in your appeal.

To highlight this further, there are many people in the world who are completely unaware of their condition. An example could be people who suffer from a mental health condition such as depression but don't know about it. They may feel fine to take an exam even though they aren't fit enough to do so. In this situation you would have valid ECs and a good reason for not letting the institution know on time.

Administrative errors

When an institution makes a mistake that impacts on your achievements, it's known as an administrative error or material irregularity. If it's not dealt with then the university could make unfair decisions about your marks, qualification, or right to progress into the following year of study.

Administrative errors can happen anytime during the course or when an assessment takes place.

The following list show examples of administrative errors you may face:

  • Disruption to normal university services caused by campus maintenance such as building works and relocations which directly impacted on your performance at assessment time
  • Frequent absences of staff members or important staff leaving, and failure of the institution to make adequate provisions to cover this within a reasonable amount of time
  • Failure by the university to provide a satisfactory level of teaching and learning support
  • Incorrect calculation of marks
  • Loss of a piece of coursework
  • Miscommunication of assessment requirements e.g. publishing an incorrect deadline or assessment brief
  • Failure to accommodate a student's disability
  • Missing sheets from an exam paper
  • Disturbances from outside the exam room

When including an administrative error in your appeal try to convince the university that if the error hadn't occurred, then you would have put in a better performance.

Bias, prejudice, or lack of proper assessment by the examiners

It goes without saying that the people who mark your work shouldn't have any bias or prejudice against you. Examples of this could include:

  • The examiner(s) is previously known to you
  • The examiner(s) has served as a lecturer or personal tutor and has expressed an opinion concerning the outcome or grade of your work
  • The examiner or a member of their family has an interest in the outcome of your work

If you feel any of the above to be true then mention it in your appeal with the reasons and facts behind why you believe such bias or prejudice existed, or still exists.

3. Finding help and assistance

We know making an appeal can be stressful and tiresome, especially when you're dealing with it alone. Don't worry, we're here for you.

Talk to your family and friends, or the Inscriptic Students' Entourage (see below), but please don't discuss your appeal with anyone who may have contributed to the decision you're disputing e.g. lecturers or personal tutors. They will protect their own interests before yours and could give you deceitful advice that sabotages your efforts at gathering evidence to support your appeal.

Inscriptic Students' Entourage™

You can get help and advice with your complaint or appeal by using the Students' Entourage service. This is run by volunteers who give up their personal time to help students worldwide. We advise registering an account as soon as possible because the service is not always available.

Feel good knowing that thousands of students are in the same boat every year and it's by no means a reflection on your abilities or character to be making an appeal.

Don't panic, get upset, and or make hasty decisions. Afterall, you can only put together an appeal that makes sense if you have a calm and collected mind.

4. Gathering evidence

Any institution will only act on an appeal if there's good evidence to back it up. If there's no proof, then sadly not much can be done.

"It's not what you know, it's what you can prove."

Think about what happened during your time on the course and what evidence you could collect to support your grounds for appeal. Evidence is anything that indicates that your claims as true. 'Material evidence' is something that refers to you by your name and is dated. Anything written by yourself or family doesn't count.

What's acceptable as evidence will depend on your grounds for appealing. Here are some examples of evidence you could provide for each ground:

Evidence of extenuating circumstances

  • Doctor (GP) or hospital letter
  • Solicitor's letter
  • Death certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Court letter or Police letter

In the case of a doctor's letter, ensure it states that your condition will have had a considerable effect on your performance.

Sometimes doctors can be vague in describing the extent of your symptoms and offer little elaboration on how they would have affected you. Look out for non-committal phrases such as "he/she feels that…" or "it could have…". These show that the doctor is not committing to an opinion himself and is merely re-expressing what you told him.

Evidence of material irregularity or administrative error

Due to the variety of administrative errors that occur, it's your choice what evidence you wish to provide to back up your allegations. These may include:

  • Witness statements
  • Photographs and video clips
  • Dates and times of staff absences (available from HR)
  • Dates, times and location of disturbances such as building work
  • Coursework acknowledgment slips to prove you submitted your work correctly
  • Assignment instructions with erroneous information
  • Screenshots from online learning resources e.g. Blackboard
  • E-mails

Evidence of bias, prejudice, or lack of proper assessment

This can be a tough one because simply speculating that the examiners acted unfairly is not enough, you actually have to prove it.

You can include anything that will support your claim but don't put down opinions and suspicions as facts. Try to provide some evidence that gives doubt to the impartiality of your examiners, such as the comments they made during lectures or showing favouritism towards others.

Evidence can be in the form of:

  • Witness statements
  • Photographs and video clips
  • E-mails
  • Published comments made by an examiner showing bias or favouritism or incompetence. Try looking at social media accounts and media publications they may be involved in (including the comments reply sections).

5. Composing the appeal letter

This section deals with helping you learn how to write your appeal and structure it logically. Everyone's appeal will be unique so feel free to adapt it to your liking.

First let's lay down some principles and then we'll give you a structure to follow so that your appeal contains the right information, in the right order.

Get into the right state of mind

Writing an appeal requires a rational state of mind above anything else. You may be feeling humiliated, upset, and angry especially if you've been a good student. You may also feel that you've let yourself and your family down. These emotions are unavoidable and also unhelpful so don't let them cloud your thoughts.

Writing an appeal is quite similar to arguing a case in a court. Entering the courtroom full of panic and anger is not going to get you very far. (Here is an interesting article on how to convince others of your innocence when accused of a wrongdoing).

Stick to your regular daily routine and make sure you're eating, exercising, and sleeping as normal. You want to stay healthy, focused and organised to win the appeal.

Do it yourself

Write your own appeal. By all means get help from your family and others but don't let anyone else write it for you.

Any slip-ups in what you say will be identified by the panel deciding your case. This is a formal process where emotional pleads don't work – even from your parents.

Only mention what needs to be mentioned

As we've seen, the reasons for appealing vary widely. They can range from a serious health issue such as depression all the way through to trivial reasons such as staying up too late playing video games.

If you've failed your course due to excessive partying and late nights, it's probably best not to mention it in your appeal. But if you have been suffering from something like depression then you must include it.

Resist blaming everyone you know

When you're in the state for blaming others, it often ends up being your word against theirs.

A panel considering your appeal letter will want to see that you have a clear understanding of what went wrong, why it went wrong, and how you propose to resolve it. Throwing the blame around for simple things will lead to a losing appeal.

Sometimes tutors can mark your coursework incorrectly and give you misleading feedback on your work. Try not to point the finger at everyone you ever met and instead focus on the specific people who have had a direct impact on your results or situation. Get their names and note down how their actions have affected you.

Don't lose e-mails or letters between you and the university during the entire duration of your course – you never know when you're going to need them as evidence that an event took place (e.g. you e-mailed your faculty about a grievance many months ago that they ignored). In fact, it is recommended that you backup your e-mails regularly so that you have your own copies of them: you can do this by e-mailing them to your private account or performing a backup and saving the file on your own storage (USB or cloud).

Never compromise your integrity

Don't lose your self-respect by writing an aggressively worded letter. Keep it polite and courteous.

You can achieve this by staying positive and, if it helps, pretend that you're writing the appeal for someone else. If things start to get too personal then take a break and come back later.

The panel considering your appeal are like a jury in court and it's your job to win their votes. Your appeal should be clear, consistent, factual, and professional. The university or college needs to know that you're a person of integrity and are serious about your education.

Consider what you want

Planning what you want to happen if your appeal is successful is just as important as the reasons for appealing.

The appeals panel will be interested in knowing what you're considering doing next if they decide in your favour.

Don't ask for an increase to your exam mark or degree classification – it almost never happens. Instead ask if you can re-take an exam without any restrictions or cap on marks (normally re-sit exams are capped at 40% which means even if you produce results worth 80% you will only awarded a maximum of 40%).

A step-by-step structure of an appeal letter

  1. Write your name, student number, and contact address.
  2. Date the letter.
  3. Insert automatic page numbering (any word processing software will allow you to insert page numbers).
  4. Write the name and address of the department that handles appeals (and the name of the person who deals with appeals. If no name is known, then simply write "to whom it may concern".
  5. Mention the name and qualification aim of the course you're studying e.g. BSc Biological Sciences.
  6. Introduce yourself to the reader by stating your name and mention why you're writing to them (to appeal a decision).
  7. Begin by writing what decision(s) you're appealing e.g. awarded a lower than expected qualification.
  8. Summarise under what grounds you're making the appeal (see reasons/grounds for appealing).
  9. Explain each reason for your appeal, starting with the most significant e.g. extenuating/mitigating circumstances and including all important dates of when events occurred. Make references to your evidence so that the reader knows what to look at to appreciate the legitimacy of your claim.
  10. Don't jump from one reason to another in the middle of a paragraph.
  11. When explaining your reasons, try to be clear, concise, and convincing.
  12. Limit your reasons for appealing to the most important ones. Right now everything seems important, but claiming for every single reason under the sun could dilute the worthiness of your appeal by making you appear dishonest.
  13. The people (appeals panel) who will be reviewing your appeal will have seen hundreds previous to yours. They will also likely be giving up holiday time to consider student appeals. Making it easy for them to understand your appeal could win you some favour.
  14. After you have finished explaining your reasons, provide a summary of the key points at the end of this section. If one extenuating circumstance is the cause of another, then you can convey this by demonstrating how a 'cause and effect' relationship existed between the circumstances. Don't assume the reader will make the connection themselves.
  15. If you present multiple reasons and explanations for your appeal which appear to be completely disjointed then the reader will get annoyed. You want them to be aware of each reason, and then appreciate how the sum of those reasons affected you. This is because each reason in isolation may not appear worthy of an appeal, but the sum can often be greater than the parts when it comes to extenuating/mitigating circumstances.
  16. Now it's time to write down what you wish the outcome of your appeal to be. That is, what do you want the university or college to do if you're successful?
  17. Do not ask for your mark/grade to be increased. Universities and colleges will rarely do this. Instead ask to retake the year or an exam without any restrictions, or if it's a case of progression then ask to be allowed into the next year of study.
  18. Finally end your letter with a simple "Yours faithfully" line, followed by a gap for your signature, and then finally your full name and student number.
  19. Take a break. Come back after a few hours and read the entire appeal from start to end. Make any alterations or add new information you feel necessary. Remember that once your appeal is submitted you cannot add more information so make sure you've included everything now.
  20. Print the appeal letter, staple multiple sheets together, and sign it accordingly. Place it in an envelope with the correct name and address displayed where you want it to go.
  21. Collect all your evidence and include it separately in the same envelope.
  22. Hand the appeal in person at the relevant office in your institution if possible, and be sure to get something that acknowledges receipt of your appeal. If you cannot hand it in person then make sure you send it by a fast delivery service which requires a signature from the recipient. Without a signature the university or college can deny ever receiving your appeal and you will have nothing to prove otherwise.

6. Sample appeal letters

Sample appeal letters will appear here soon.

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Writing a Reconsideration Letter

appeal letter to university for missing deadline example

If your application has not been successful or you have not been offered your first choice of programme or you have been offered admission to a single degree but would like to appeal for a double degree programme, you may submit an appeal for reconsideration. Appeals must be submitted online via Applicant’s Self Service. You must have your User ID and Password to access Applicant's Self-Service. For the 2020 admissions exercise, the online appeal portal will open from 2 May - 16 July 2020. Only applicants whose outcome of their applications is known (successful or reject) can submit their appeals online.

In your online appeal, you may state your reasons for reconsideration (not more than 1000 words). All online appeals must be submitted by 16 July 2020. We would advise applicants who wish to appeal to do so early, preferably within 1-2 weeks following notification of the outcome of the application. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions & Financial Assistance (OUAFA) is the central co-ordinating body for all appeals. As such, please refrain from sending your appeals to multiple parties within SMU as this will only slow down the appeal process. Appeals sent to the other offices will be re-directed to OUAFA for processing.

All appeals will be processed in a timely and equitable manner. As the number of appeals received will be large, we will aim to inform most applicants of the outcome of their appeals within 21 working days. Some appeals, though, may take a longer time to process and notifications of outcome for such appeals will be sent beyond the 21 working days timeline. You may check the outcome of your appeal online via Applicant's Self Service.

Notifications will be sent by email, so please ensure that you have provided us with a valid email address for reply and that you check your email inbox on a regular basis. If you would like to update your email address, please do so at Applicant's Self Service.

If you have been offered admission to a degree programme and would like to appeal for a change of programme, you should accept the programme offered first while waiting for the outcome of your appeal. The offer will lapse if you do not accept it within the stipulated deadline.

Sample Apology letter for late submission of Assignment. It is a common observation that 65% of the college and university students submit more students turned in their assignments late when a long deadline was given.

Undergraduate Admissions

appeal letter to university for missing deadline example

If you've been dismissed from college for poor academic performance, your college will most likely give you an opportunity to appeal that decision. The best approach is to appeal in person, but if the school doesn't allow face-to-face appeals or if the travel costs are prohibitive, you should plan to write the best appeal letter possible. (In some cases, you might be asked to do both—the appeals committee will ask for a letter in advance of the in-person meeting.)

Qualities of a Successful Appeal Letter

  • Demonstrates an understanding of what went wrong
  • Takes responsibility for academic failures
  • Outlines a clear plan for future academic success
  • Conveys points in an honest tone

In the sample letter below, Emma was dismissed after she ran into academic trouble because of difficulties at home. She uses her letter to explain the extenuating circumstances that caused her to perform below her potential. After reading the letter, be sure to read the discussion of the letter so that you understand what Emma does well in her appeal and what could use a little more work. 

Emma's Appeal Letter

Dear Dean Smith and Members of the Scholastic Standards Committee:

I am writing to appeal my academic dismissal from Ivy University. I was not surprised, but very upset to receive a letter earlier this week informing me of my dismissal. I'm writing with the hope that you will reinstate me for next semester. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to explain my circumstances.

I admit I had a very difficult time last semester, and my grades suffered as a result. I don't mean to make excuses for my poor academic performance, but I would like to explain the circumstances. I knew that registering for 18 credit hours in the spring would require a lot of me, but I needed to earn the hours so that I was on track to graduate on time. I thought I could handle the workload, and I still think I could have, except that my father became very ill in February. While he was home sick and unable to work, I had to drive home every weekend and some weeknights to help out with household duties and to care for my little sister. Needless to say, the hour-long drive each way cut into my study time, as did the chores I had to do at home. Even when I was at school, I was very distracted with the home situation and was unable to focus on my schoolwork. I understand now that I should have communicated with my professors (instead of avoiding them), or even taken a leave of absence. I thought I could handle all of these burdens, and I tried my best, but I was wrong.

I love Ivy University, and it would mean so much to me to graduate with a degree from this school, which would make me the first person in my family to complete a college degree. If I am reinstated, I will focus much better on my schoolwork, take fewer hours, and manage my time more wisely. Fortunately, my father is recovering and has returned to work, so I should not need to travel home nearly as often. Also, I have met with my advisor, and I will follow her advice about communicating better with my professors from now on.

Please understand that my low GPA that led to my dismissal does not indicate that I am a bad student. Really, I'm a good student who had one very, very bad semester. I hope you will give me a second chance. Thank you for considering this appeal.


Emma Undergrad

A quick word of warning before we discuss the details of Emma's letter: Do not copy this letter or parts of this letter in your own appeal! Many students have made this mistake, and academic standards committees are familiar with this letter and recognize its language. Nothing will torpedo your appeal efforts faster than a plagiarized appeal letter. The letter needs to be your own.

Critique of Sample Appeal Letter

Any student who has been dismissed from college has an uphill battle to fight. The college has indicated that it lacks confidence in your ability to succeed academically, so the appeal letter must re-instill that confidence. 

A successful appeal must demonstrate that you understand what went wrong, take responsibility for the academic failures, outline a clear plan for future academic success, and demonstrate that you are being honest with yourself and the committee.

Many students who appeal an academic dismissal make the mistake of attempting to place the blame for their problems on someone else. Certainly external factors can contribute to academic failure, and it is fair to describe extenuating circumstances. However, it is important to own up to your own mistakes. In fact, acknowledging mistakes is a major sign of maturity. Remember that the appeals committee does not expect college students to be perfect; instead, they want to see that you recognize your mistakes and have learned from them.

Emma's appeal succeeds fairly well in all of the above areas. First of all, she does not try to blame anyone but herself. She has extenuating circumstances—her father's illness—and she is wise to explain them, but she doesn't make excuses. Instead, she acknowledges that she did not handle her situation well. She owns up to the fact that she should have been in contact with her professors when she was struggling, and ultimately should have withdrawn from classes and taken a leave of absence when her father's illness started to dominate her life.

The overall tone of Emma's letter is sincere. The committee now knows why Emma had such bad grades, and the reasons seem both plausible and pardonable. Assuming she did earn solid grades in her earlier semesters, the committee is likely to believe Emma's claim that she is a "good student who had one very, very bad semester."

Emma also presents a plan for her future success. The committee will be pleased to hear that she is communicating with her advisor. In fact, Emma would be wise to have her advisor write a letter of support to go with her appeal.

A few elements of Emma's future plan could use a little more detail. She says that she "will focus much better on [her] schoolwork" and "manage [her] time more wisely." The committee is likely to want to hear more on these points. If another family crisis arises, what will Emma do to ensure that she is able to stay focused on schoolwork? What is her time management plan? She won't become a better time manager simply be saying she will do so. How exactly is she going to learn and develop more effective time management strategies? Are there services at her school to help with her time management strategies? If so, she should mention those services and describe how she will utilize them.

On the whole, Emma comes across as a student who deserves a second chance. Her letter is polite and respectful, and she is honest with the committee about what went wrong. A severe appeals committee may reject the appeal because of the mistakes Emma made, but many colleges would be willing to give her a second chance.

More on Academic Dismissals

Emma's letter provides a good example of a strong appeal letter, and these six tips for appealing an academic dismissal can help guide you as you craft your own letter. Also, there are many less sympathetic reasons for being kicked out of college than we see in Emma's situation. Jason's appeal letter takes on a more difficult task, for he was dismissed because alcohol took over his life and led to academic failure. Finally, if you want to see some common mistakes students make when appealing, check out Brett's weak appeal letter. 

The Dos of Writing the Academic Appeal Letter with Sample Letter of Appeal for Reconsideration. Before the deadline, you need. Save Noncompliant Patient Missed or Cancelled Appointment (Sample Letter) NOTE: This sample letter is.

appeal letter to university for missing deadline example
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